Germantown Newspapers Inc.

Incorporating the Germantown Chronicle and The Northwest Independent

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Next Issue: April 29, 2015


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Noteworthy Reads

To VisitPhilly: Recognize Germantown as a Neighborhood

If you go to this site..... You will see that Germantown is NOT an option as a neighborhood in Philadelphia. Yet, when you click on Mt. Airy here.... You'll see that most of the attractions they cite are actually in Germantown....Grumblethorpe, Awbury Arboretum, the Johnson House, Maxwell Mansion, Wyck, Cliveden..... That's a travesty!!! Please take a moment and let the visitphilly people (which used to be called the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Cultural something and is THE official tourism site for Philadelphia) know that Germantown needs to be recognized as the steward of all these sites.... Sign our petition. That's why I signed a petition to Will you sign this petition?

Go to Thanks!


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April 24, 2015


Partners in shutdown of two major investigations by federal and city authorities into misuse of hundreds of millions in public and private funding

Read the expose in The Independent Voice that tells how the largest political fraud in recent Philadelphia history, using mostly federal  dollars, was uncovered by the FBI and City IG only to be squashed through senior level HUD influence and the assistance of the just elected mayor of Philadelphia.

Read more ...

April 23, 2015

Councilwoman Cindy Bass Takes Ethics Stand with Developers


April 23, 2015 - Just minutes ago 8th District Councilwoman Cindy Bass took a strident stand relative to what has long had the appearance of conflicts of interest in who steers the Boards of Directors of agencies that control the distribution of city owner properties.  The City of Philadelphia, through multiple agencies takes ownership of and redistributes/markets various parcels of land, both developed and undeveloped.  Philadelphia owns more property than any other city in the United States and much of it has been on their books generating no tax revenue for extended periods.  For many years the boards of these entities have been staffed by individuals appointed by the Mayor and others; who themselves and their companies may be conduits for the redistribution of this city property.  This bill, with stiff penalties, makes those appointments illegal and not in the public interest.

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April 6, 2015

None of the Above

That would be my response to the question of which Democratic Mayoral candidate I would want to take control of this city after Michael Nutter’s term ends.

If you read and listen to most of the superficial propaganda about the Nutter years, you might actually believe we were being guided by a champion of ethics reform and good judgment. In fact, he was a caretaker for complacency at best and in some areas, like Licenses and Inspections. He intentionally downgrades he with duplicitous behavior that led to tragedies and deaths. Those practices cost us multi-millions in back door settlements. We have yet to learn the costs from the seven deaths in the Salvation Army collapse.

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From Reform To Ruin: The History of Philadelphia's Democratic Party

The Early Reform Years 1937-1951

While even most old timers will tell you the efforts to influence change and reform into what had been described as the most corrupt city government in the nation began after World War II, it actually started before the war on the coattails of Roosevelt’s 1936 second election when a Democratic Governor by the name of Earle took office.  Earle served from 1936 to 1939 when Republicans took back the seat.

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April 6, 2015

A Blast from the Past

A little more than a year ago The Independent Voice expressed concerns over the direction Mayor Nutter was headed. Nothing has changed for the better.

Jim Foster's observations and the Mayor's office's response follows.

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March 27, 2015

Michael "the Mortician" Nutter Buries Major Investigation in First So-called "Ethics" Appointments

It was only days after his November 6, 2007, election when Mayor elect Nutter announced the first of his claimed reform government measures with two appointments.  He creates his first of many “czars” with the new Chief Integrity Office and the appointment of Joan Markman, but also replaces the serving Inspector General right away with Amy Kurland.

The then serving Inspector General was our current District Attorney Seth Williams, and while he would have had to eventually resign to run for that office later, there was no urgency for him to be replaced at that early moment.  In point of fact, Seth Williams had breathed new life into a city agency that had itself been plagued with patronage and nonperformance.

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Dysfunctional Dept. of L&I Continues to Circle the Drain

Before anyone considers who they may want to become the mayoral candidate in the upcoming Democratic primary, two months away, I suggest they take a good hard look at what our so-called “clean administration” has delivered us relative to one of the current mayor’s most touted campaign platform promises when he first ran for election.

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March 18, 2015

Councilwoman Cindy Bass Announces City Funding to Rebuild Historic Germantown YWCA Structure

In an exclusive release to The Independent Voice and Germantown Newspapers, the Office of Councilwoman Cindy Bass announced today, March 18, 2015, that city funding will be forthcoming to in essence provide $4 million in reparations to Germantown.

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March 11, 2015

The Prison of One-Party Politics

The Democratic Republic created by our founders was not built around the concept of political parties, although it certainly was the result of intense political debate.  Jefferson and Adams disagreed vehemently on purpose and policy almost to their deaths on the same day – July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

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He Has the Numbers. Crimes of the Written Word

I began school in the Philadelphia public school system in September 1947. Julius Streicher was executed at Nuremberg less than a year before on October 16th 1946. His crime, at the postwar trials of Nazi atrocities and civil rights violations was: “Crimes of the Written Word” – for you see he was the editor of the anti-semetic and Nazi propaganda newspaper Der Sturmer, and the world had come to realize that in order to right the wrongs of a generation of elected maniacs it was not just the example of concentration camp commanders that were tried and sent to death as an expose of a world that has lost all morality.

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Hillary Clinton,  21st Century Madame Chaing Kai-shek

Parallels abound that should not be ignored.

As I watched Hillary Clinton treat us to another condescending rebuke to the great unlearned, it brought back some black and white film clips and recorded history that is part personal recollection and part research of a powerful persona most unusual in her time. A woman who, despite some learned attempt at promoting fairness in world governance, crashed and burned in her own right and probably because she made some of the same mistakes we have witnessed since Hillary Clinton decided she was to be the self-appointed ruler of all she imagined and using all she was able to dominate to get there.

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February 23, 2015

An Open Letter to Councilwoman Bass Regarding the Germantown YWCA

Councilwoman Cindy Bass

City Hall Room 594

Philadelphia, Pa. 19107

Dear Councilwoman Bass:

In 1988 I purchased a building at 5807 Germantown Avenue” At the time the original storefront had been divided into two storefronts. One was occupied by a bookie and the other side was empty. The upper floors, which had originally housed the family who operated the store, were vacant. I have now owned the building for 27 years. There are four residential units and one storefront. The facade was reconstructed to replica the original. All of the residential[ units are occupied by unsubsidized tenants. The storefront is a flower store that has been a tenant for nine years.

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I am done... Ken Weinstein Responds to Open Letter

To those who care deeply about Germantown:

I am writing to respond to a letter to the editor that recently appeared in the so called, "Independent Voice" newspaper.  I am done serving as a punching bag by those who say they are committed to Germantown but offer no practical solutions to the blight and poverty that permeates our community.

Read More ...

Jim Foster Discusses Weinstein Response

“Blame the Victim” seems to be the concept in Developer Ken Weinstein’s open letter to those concerned about Germantown as he calls out another area developer and virtually shouts from the rooftops that time is of the essence, “don’t wait a minute longer” or the wrecking ball will change our fate.

Read More ...

February 21, 2015

Racism Brings Federal Troops During World War II

August 1, 1944 was certainly among the darkest days in the history of the city that claims it is “The City of Brotherly Love”. For that day, less than two months after D-Day in World War II, the white union members of this city public transportation system went on a wildcat strike that at 4:00 p.m that shut down the entire transit system during the afternoon rush hour at a time when national gas rationing put almost everyone on public transit. The reason – the Philadelphia Transportation Company (PTC) had trained 8 black employees to run streetcars in Germantown.

At that time 48 trolley lines, 35 bus routes, the Broad Street Subway and the Frankford Elevated ground to halt as union members called in sick and blocked the exits from the carbarns.

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February 19, 2015

65 years ago and the path to prosperity and debt

A November 1949 perspective on the then growing safety net concept of government in this country is worth some reflection.  Playing devil's advocate from both sides, I would like to point out that my personal perspective is that we definitely owe it to ourselves to learn from history. That concept has no place in the current administration, most of congress, and in most institutions of so called “higher learning” today.

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leberg Steals the Show in Jamie Wyeth Retrospective ….

by Sabina Clarke

A giant poster of Kleberg Jamie Wyeth’s beloved yellow Labrador retriever with a permanent black circle painted around his eye welcomes visitors to Jamie Wyeth .. A  Retrospective which opened at Brandywine Museum on January 19th and continues through April 5th 2015.

Of all the Wyeth’s Jamie is the most versatile, working in many mediums on a vast canvas. There is the influence of his father Andrew Wyeth  in his seascapes of  coastal Maine and Brandywine Valley and also the imagination and wild abandon of his grandfather, N.C. Wyeth the legendary and prolific illustrator of classic tales such as King Arthur and Robinson Crusoe.

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Better Said Than Ed

We are told again and again that education will be THE issue of the 2015 mayoral campaign, but I would much rather hear candidates talk about something they can do something about.  Frankly, if education is what mayoral candidates are going to talk about, they might as well offer their Philadelphia weather platform.  Much as the joke goes about how people love to talk about the weather, but never do much about it, all of the candidates can talk all they want about education, but as mayor, they will have so very little to do to make change.

by Brett Mandel

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February 16, 2015

The Short, Factual Story of the Germantown YWCA

The series of superficial one-perspective accounts of the city’s pending arrangement for a development project at the former YWCA facility on Germantown Avenue near Rittenhouse Street needs to be retold with a large dose of factual background in order to balance what can only be described as repetitive low-information narratives.

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February 15, 2015

Reparations for Germantown

City owes historic community it pilfered.

An extensive and well researched history of Germantown written in 1907 made the following assessment of the diverse self-supporting community founded in 1683 that was one of the first in this nation:

“The settlement at Germantown was the first permanent American colony organized and established independent of governmental or commercial patronage and the freedom of thought and practice fostered by this untrammeled condition, combined with the exceptional freedom of its settlers from the dominion of established customs and ideals has given it a history that in many respects is unique.”

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February 9, 2015


The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has fallen so far economically and socially in the last 25 years that it is an oxymoron to use the term “Common wealth”, for the state that for years led the nation in industry and development, home of the largest corporate entity in the world at the turn of the 20th Century, is now scraping the bottom, and just about everyone is in denial. Worse, the political parties won’t face up to their challenges and the mainstream press won’t tell the story. Both major political parties are in full bore denial, but it’s time to examine what they are denying and hold them accountable.

Read more ...

February 4, 2015

Reparations for Germantown NOW

For over 10 years I have been researching the insider details of how the intensely corrupt Philadelphia city government chose to use the second most significantly historic section of our major city for the purpose of creating blight and decay on an accelerated scale. It has become clear that this was done by lowering the quality of life and living standards in order to accelerate profits for the very few at the expense of the many.

Evidence that has been compiled sets forth a chain of events that continues to this day in the residual failed projects, amplified recently as the city tries to pave over one more time major fiscal theft from the people and duplicity in the process of politically engineered property theft. The duplicity that took place from about 1975 forward continues with back door development deals done with intentionally neglected and untaxed city property, wasted for years by failed agencies, and then given away to insiders with more public money attached that one can imagine.